So nervous about pending application problem!

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Bigsby
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Bigsby » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Hey everyone,

I was looking through a law school app and I saw this:

Have you ever, either as an adult or a juvenile, been cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for,
or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or the violation of any law, except minor parking or traffic
violations, or been the subject of any juvenile delinquency or youthful offender proceeding?
q Yes q No
Please note that although a conviction may have been expunged from the records by an order of a court, it nevertheless should be disclosed in the answer to
this question. Also, you should have available and be prepared to submit or exhibit copies of police and court records regarding any matter you disclose in reply
to this question.

Last year, I was in Chicago and I was convicted of "Drinking on the CTA" (Chicago Transit Authority). It resulted in a $150 fine. I'm assuming I have to reveal this? I'm really really upset that I have to do this, because it could negatively affect my chances of admission and I was unfairly given the ticket. I was with 2 other people. One of them was drinking and the Chicago police come up to us. They decide to give him and ME a ticket...but not my other friend.

So what's the next step? I'm assuming I need to say 'yes' to this. I called the Chicago government and they said it was an ordinance violation. Since the prompt asks for any violations of any laws, I was wondering what you guys suggest I do. Do I attach a copy of the ticket with my application along with a short addendum? I'm really upset that an unfair ticket can possibly affect my chances of going to law school...

P.S. I live nowhere near Chicago and I was 21 years of age when it happened, so it wasn't an underage drinking ticket...if that is helpful at all. Thank you.

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Samara
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Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Samara » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:46 pm

The rule of thumb is to overshare on these questions and I think this would fall "cited" for "any violation of the law." Just write a simple addendum and I don't think it will affect your cycle.

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NZA
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby NZA » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:52 pm

And don't sound defensive AT. ALL.

It might not have been your fault, but don't say that. Say you learned from your mistake and accept responsibility for your actions, period. As long as you sound contrite/mature, this won't affect your cycle at all.

Bigsby
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Bigsby » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:57 pm

Yeah, I know. I realized as soon as I was writing that I was already being defensive and whiny. It sucks that I need to "admit" to the law schools about my "irresponsible" actions, even though I hadn't even drank anything. It would be a shame if I was negatively affected by something like this.

But I see your points. What is the next step? Will my local court have this on file and do I just attach a copy of the ticket with an addendum?

Any other insight in writing an addendum? I'm assuming they need not be longer than a couple lines or so.

Thank you,
Bigs

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NZA
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby NZA » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:21 pm

Use the search function...I'm not personally sure how long people recommend addenda to be, but I'm thinking a paragraph should suffice.

And I don't think you need to actually get a copy of the ticket unless the school specifically requests a copy.

Bigsby
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Bigsby » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:27 pm

"Also, you should have available and be prepared to submit or exhibit copies of police and court records regarding any matter you disclose in reply
to this question."

I'm not sure how to interpret this, though I do not see why exactly they would want a copy of the police record for the incident.

I used the search function and did not find much on it.

Thanks again,
bigs

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Tiago Splitter
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:52 pm

There will be a spot on each app to give details if you answer "yes" to any of those character and fitness questions. Give a brief explanation of what happened in the space provided, and as others have said, be contrite. It's unlikely a school would want additional information, but if they do, you'll just have to call the city government and provide it.

dkt4
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby dkt4 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:52 pm

just describe the incident as it occurred with some contrition, you don't need to be overly effusive about it though. it won't adversely affect your cycle if this is the only thing you're reporting.

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kalvano
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Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby kalvano » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 pm

Schools don't care. They've seen every sort of alcohol infraction imaginable. It won't affect your chances of admittance at all. You don't even really need an explanation. Just say you got a ticket and it was handled.

Schools ask all this crap for when you go before the Bar certification. They want to see if you were honest about your background on your school app compared to your Bar app compared to your actual record.

Bigsby
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Bigsby » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:55 am

Oh okay, thanks guys I really appreciate it.

The incident happened over this past spring break. So it was about 6 months ago for me...I was gonna say how I have learned from my mistake and 'haven't had any incident since'...but...that's not really saying much considering how recent it was.

I've seen some addendums here talking about how "they haven't had any incidents like this in the past" or "haven't had any incidents since"...should I just say something like ,

"On whatever date this happened (i need to find out), I was fined for consuming alcohol on the CTA. The fine was paid on "date X". My actions were negligent and irresponsible. Now I feel like I need to add a contrite sentence about how such an incident is not an accurate representation of who I am and that I have learned from my mistake...or something ?"

Is that a good 'basic' structure? sorry for obsessing over this...i also have obsessive compulsive disorder but...that's a whole other story haha

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loblaw
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Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby loblaw » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:06 am

Edit for messed up post on my phone. I had a similar problem. I stated the facts and added "I regret the incident." No problem. You really shouldn't worry about it, but keep it as factual and short as possible. No need to add a "lessons learned" closing...this incident does not call for it.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:15 pm

Bigsby wrote:"On whatever date this happened (i need to find out), I was fined for consuming alcohol on the CTA. The fine was paid on "date X". My actions were irresponsible, and they will not happen again.


Honestly, not a big deal. The schools won't really care that you got caught with beer in public. Just say it was a mistake and you won't do it again.

dkt4
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby dkt4 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:57 pm

loblaw wrote:Edit for messed up post on my phone. I had a similar problem. I stated the facts and added "I regret the incident." No problem. You really shouldn't worry about it, but keep it as factual and short as possible. No need to add a "lessons learned" closing...this incident does not call for it.


+1 to this

Bigsby
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: So nervous about pending application problem!

Postby Bigsby » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:43 pm

Great. Thank you guys so much.

As long as I don't have to go through the bullshit of actually finding a police record, the ticket, etc. etc., I don't mind.

Thanks for all your patience guys. I'll let you know if I have any more questions.




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